Fun with numbers | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fun with numbers

Posted By on Wed, May 14, 2008 at 10:36 AM

They held a non-binding Democratic presidential primary in Nebraska yesterday. Obama led the balloting 49-47. Delegates in the state will be apportioned by the earlier caucus vote, which Obama won 68-32. About 38,000 voted in the caucuses. About 93,000 voted in the primary yesterday. New voters didn't exactly split for Obama.

From the link above, a passage on Democratic Party rules:

The short summary of these rules is that the Democratic Party of the United States A.) wants the delegate selection process to be open to all persons who wish to be known as Democrats; and B.) expressly prohibits the scheduling of delegate selection meetings that would "significantly reduce participation in the delegate selection process."

Now you tell me...with 38,571 Democrats participating in the Nebraska presidential caucuses and 93,757 Democrats participating in the Nebraska presidential preference primary, which method A.) opens the process to all persons wishing to be known as Democrats; B.) encourages the participation of all Democrats; and C.) does not significantly reduce participation in the delegate selection process.

Now I know what the 20,000 screaming Obama-maniacs would say. They'd say that rules are rules and Sen. Obama won the Nebraska caucuses.

But I would suggest that when more people participate in a so-called "meaningless" primary that doesn't count than participated in caucuses that did count, we know which process encourages the participation of all Democrats and which process allows a candidate to "game the system" in his favor.

Good points. But it does overlook this: Clinton knew the rules going in and should have been prepared for the Obama caucus strategy. She put all her chips on inevitability and an early knockout. Bad bet.

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